Inpatient Brain MRI for New-Onset Seizures: Utility and Cost Effectiveness

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Inpatient magnetic resonance imaging for evaluation of new-onset afebrile seizures can extend hospital stay, can add cost, and may not affect acute management. The study was to assess cost and impact on acute management of inpatient brain magnetic resonance imagings performed as part of new-onset seizure evaluation. Retrospective chart review of brain magnetic resonance imagings on pediatric inpatients admitted for new-onset afebrile seizure has been carried out. Seventy-five patients were identified. Seventy-one of the patients (95%) stayed an additional day for the magnetic resonance imaging. Thirteen had abnormal results. No patient had treatment changes based upon the magnetic resonance imaging results. If these magnetic resonance imagings had been done as an outpatient, the savings to the hospital could have been $215 575. Thus, obtaining an inpatient brain magnetic resonance imaging for evaluation of new-onset seizures did not lead to acute changes in management and added to facility costs and length of stay. Scheduling a magnetic resonance imaging as an outpatient could achieve cost savings without compromising care.

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